Head Coaching Dominance – The NFL, The NCAA, and Jimmy Johnson
The Dallas Cowboys former Head Coach, Jimmy Johnson, was the first person to coach a Super Bowl winning team as well as a college football national championship team. An extremely tough accomplishment as the pro and college games are so different. What made Johnson perfect for this task was that his strength was player evaluation.
When Jimmy Johnson was Head Coach of the University of Miami, he found a way to get the better athletes. His teams won, not because of his in-game coaching ability, but because he recruited the best players to come and play for the Hurricanes.
When the Dallas Cowboys hired Johnson to replace legendary Head Coach Tom Landry, they were at a low point in their history. The Cowboys were one of the worst teams in the league and shortly after Johnson’s arrival they worked a trade that sent away their franchise Running Back, Herschel Walker.
These circumstances made it perfect timing for Jimmy Johnson to lead the Cowboys. Combining the high draft picks that the Cowboys were getting as one of the worst teams in the league with the high draft picks they received from the Minnesota Vikings in exchange for Walker, Johnson was able to utilize his strength – player evaluation. Johnson took those draft picks, combined them with some select free agent signings, and built the Dallas Cowboys dynasty of the early 1990’s.
Winning both the college football national championship and the Super Bowl is a tough trick to pull off, it requires both solid coaching skills and good timing and Jimmy Johnson was perfect to be the first one to accomplish it. The second coach to accomplish that feat also did it with the Dallas Cowboys. Barry Switzer also managed to achieve both a Super Bowl Championship and a NCAA National Championship. That accomplishment though is a little harder to explain.